5 Public Trust & Confidence

  • 0. Introduction

    Councils' voting record regarding controversial projects are assessed and assigned with value accordingly, all upon my personal judgement regarding those with serious public interest:

    With the only chance of a plebiscite, I voted against the Winter Olympic bid. At the Town Hall a week after last federal election, on October 29, 2019, I made a 5-minute presentation, raised constitutional rights concerns about the proposed Fluoridation, titled "Fluoridation, leave me alone!" (https://pub-calgary.escribemeetings.com/filestream.ashx?DocumentId=111273, https://pub-calgary.escribemeetings.com/Players/ISIStandAlonePlayer.aspx?ClientId=calgary&FileName=2019-10-28.mp4, (6:21:38 -- 6:27:00)) as attached in this website.

    Brief explanation of the selected 10 controversial projects voted by Councils.

    1. City pay cut: Oct. 6, 2020, "Colley-Urquhart wonders aloud whether it would make City Manager, Duckworth's life easier if city council directed a 10% or 12% cut."

    2. Council pay freeze: Dec. 17, 2018, Councillor Ward Sutherland had put forward a notice of motion --- which was the one debated on Monday --- that proposed a wage freeze.

    It was amazed to hear that the City Councils had received so much misinformation during the time regarding their pay decrease, pay freeze, pay increase and pay freeze while at the end of the day each of them got a sweat 3.86% increase, inflation of 2018 was 2.27%.

    1. Speed limit: Feb. 1, 2021, Calgary will lower the speed limit on residential roads from 50 to 40 km/h. Council voted 10-4 in favour of the change.

    2. SWBRT: Nov. 14, 2017, Ward 11 Coun. Jeromy Farkas joined forces with Ward 13 Coun. Diane Colley-Urquhart --- who was a no-show at Monday's meeting --- to pen the unsuccessful notice of motion that asked city administration not to award tender of Phase 2 of the southwest bus rapid transit (BRT) line, effectively blocking its contentious route down 14th Street S.W.

    3. Anti-Olympic: Oct. 31, 2018, the councillors voted 8-7 in favour of the motion to halt the process, but a supermajority was required to overturn a previous decision.

    4. Winter Olympic: Sep. 12, 2018, Councillors in Calgary have voted 12-3 in favour of keeping the city's 2026 Olympic and Paralympic bid alive.

    5. Arena: July 30, 2019, an 11-4 majority of council voted yes. The agreement Calgary landed on sees the city contribute $275 million of public funds to a building they'll ultimately own, while shouldering the additional cost of demolishing the decades-old Saddledome. Another $25 million liability assumed in case of budget overrun.

    When I was a teenager, I liked a game called "chasing old bull", it was something between ice hockey and field hockey, we use heavy duty sticks and we play all across our community in winter mostly on snow, one goal takes hours and means a game over, no goalie was needed. I understand our hockey fans' feeling, and I enjoy your joys. The reason I am not very much into this deal is that it came the time we suffered both a years-long economic downturn and a once in a century global pandemic.

    1. CPS Budget: November 4, 2020. Council approved a motion Wednesday to consider removing $20 million from the CPS budget of $517 million over the next two years.

    2. Green Line: June 16, 2020, Nenshi: Today, City Council voted, once and for all, to approve the Green Line.

    3. Fluoride: February 25, 2019, Coun. Diane Colley-Urquhart brought notice of motion for fluoridation forward, and this time it was a success with a 13-2 vote.

    *: Supermajority of at least 10-5 requested.

    **: Reversed later.

    ***: Destiny uncertain.

    ****: Leading effect considered based on the resulted 3.86% Council pay increase.

    Due to the nature of apparent financial and health implication and public interest of these projects and motions, I find it helpful to quantify the value of each Council's vote in the same way so that to be more objective when proceed with an assessment.

  • 1. Spending Index

    ranks a Council's spending behavior calculated with weighing of implicated cost.

    Assessment based on Councils' position upon 9 controversial projects associated with their financial implications.

    City Hall's Spending Index averaged at 67.6 per cent, leading by Mayor and 6 councils with Spending Index of over 98 per cent, as a group of 7 dedicated whale spenders out of 15, they had never felt it hard to find one more vote from the other 7 dolphin spenders whose Spending Index fall between 40 per cent and 50 percent. Ward 11 Council bears the lowest Spending Index of 0.8 per cent to be a solo dedicated saver.

    Comments: The once so ambitious you and I are turning kind of pessimistic year over year, only to find our lost ambitions found their home in our city hall where billion-dollar aspirations became everyday topic with no sense of risk in mind at all, even a global pandemic on top of a major recession was unable to become a deterrent.

  • 2. Risk Index

    assesses the likelihood that a Council overlooks serious financial and or public health risks. Assessment based on September 12, 2018 motion for Winter Olympic bid, October 31, 2018 motion against Winter Olympic bid, February 25, 2019, motion for Fluoridation, and June 16, 2020 motion for Green Line and doubled due global pandemic.

    City Hall’s Risk Index averaged at 80 per cent meaning that we the public are at high risk of 80 per cent from the City Hall if they act individually. When they act as a majority dominated team as they are, we the public are literally 100 per cent at risk. Leading by Mayor and 5 councils with Risk Index of a full score of 100 per cent, making a team of 6 bold spenders who bear zero risk in mind on major issues. Ward 4 and Ward 11 have the lowest Risk Index of 40 per cent, followed by Ward 2 and 7 with 60 per cent.

  • 3. Public Interest Standing Index

    assesses a Council’s sense of public interest.

    Assessment based on Councils’ position upon 9 projects, twice upon Winter Olympic bid. Ward 11 Council’s position against Green Line was granted with extra credit due the increased public interest against this project added by the global pandemic.

    City Hall’s Public Interest Standing Index averaged at mere 29 per cent, meaning this team are largely against our interest. Leading by Council of Ward 11 of 80 per cent, followed by Ward 4 of 60 per cent, and Ward 2 and 7 of 50 per cent. Mayor and 4 other Councils shown the lowest Public Interest Standing Index of mere 10 per cent, accompanied by 4 more with only 20 per cent, making a team of 9 out of 15 with a range of 10-20 per cent Public Interest Standing Index, how sad it is?

  • 4. Accountability Index

    assesses how Councils comply with moral, ethical, professional, and legal principles and for which they had proclaimed by actions, popular or not, in the best interest of the public. The assessment was not only based on Council’s personal position upon issues with profound public interest which normally bears no clear-cut right or wrong, but also weigh heavily upon Council’s track record of ethics, morality, integrity, leadership and value. Although there is no simple way to measure these primary qualifications which are subjective in nature, while certain behaviors do make disqualification unavoidable when trustworthy evidence emerges, the reason? Everyone has a sense of justice and civic virtue.

    In consideration of the controversial travel expenses (“A timeline of the controversy surrounding Joe Magliocca's travel expenses”, https://calgaryherald.com/news/local-news/a-timeline-of-the-controversy-surrounding-joe-maglioccas-travel-expenses), a deduction of 10 per cent was made to Ward 2 Council with a heavy heart.

    Right after a costly plebiscite that saved Calgarians from a deeply troubled City Hall, another hurtful news arised, and this time the wound felt just unhealing: CBC News · Posted: Dec 18, 2018

    “Day after Jeromy Farkas kicked out of council meeting, allies call out his 'lies'” “https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/jeromy-farkas-lies-calgary-council-1.4951413

    Truth was that it was Ward 1 Council who actually filed the motion to freeze Council’s salary, he earned 9 other Councils’ support including Ward 11 Council and was backed by 3 of those Councils on social media soon after. Upon the time the motion was on the table, he and other 3 Councils made a retreat, leaving a winning motion to a 6-9 loss. At the end of the meeting, Ward 11 Council was kicked out. At the end of the year, Councils received a 3.86 per cent salary increase, Mayor received 4 per cent.

    With a broken heart and a thorough disappointment, I felt unable to assess value of ethical principal, morality, or accountability regarding this stunning behavior as the testimonies from several Councils had proven and was unable to assign any meaningful value upon it myself, should viewers feel any value appropriate, please help yourself.

    City Hall’s Accountability Index averaged at mere 25 per cent, leading by Ward 4 with 60 per cent, followed by Ward 7 with 50 per cent, ward 2 and 8 with 40 per cent. Disregard of Ward 11, Mayor and 4 other Councils shared the lowest Accountability Index of only 10 per cent, along with 4 others with a skinny 20 per cent, making it a team of 9 out 14 whom I would find it hard to lean on for any task.

  • 5. Public Trust & Confidence Index

    assesses how optimistic citizens are regarding their Council, weighing equally of (100 - Spending Index), (100 – Risk Index), Public Interest Standing Index and a non-zero-based Accountability Index.

    Public Trust & Confidence Index is the general assessment of a Council’s value of representation, it is a non-zero Accountability based average of all four indexes with values weighed by public interest.

    We are in a recession since late 2014, aggravated by the pandemic since early 2020. This fundamental background made irresponsible spending our major risk and made risk control critical, and the utmost critical issue is risk control upon billion-dollar projects regarding budget plan and especially budget overrun.

    Very sadly, we are losing our trust and confidence in our Councils.

    City Hall’s Public Trust & Confidence Index averaged at mere 24 per cent, leading by Ward 4, 7, 2, 8 Council, bottomed by Mayor and 4 other Councils with a painful 5 per cent.

    It was due that the only 5 per cent rating of our Mayor’s Public Trust & Confidence Index and the only 24 per cent average rating of this City Hall, each and every one of the major projects presented in City Hall was literally hindered, when on very rare occasions they did fail, there was still a very simple trick available for them - keep pushing, just like they pushed the fluoridation project, or request a supermajority to veto them like in the Winter Olympic case.

    At this point, let us look back at the Anti-Olympic motion on Oct. 31, 2018, when the councillors voted 8-7 in favour of the motion to halt the process, see who are those 7 voted against this motion, without any surprise, they are the 7 with the lowest Public Trust & Confidence Index ranging from 5 to 15 per cent, leading by the Mayor with the lowest of 5 per cent.

    There are occasions when voters might wonder if our elected leaders were on the leash of some powerful invisible hands who would, immediately after the election, begin to act against the voters, be loud with slogans, be deaf to your voice, be dumb to fix your problems, be innovative to introduce new taxes, be scared of plebiscite, be excited to big spending, be bully to the public, be obedient to lobbyists, be detached from communities, be attached to billion dollar projects, be irresponsible to anything and everything, be accountable to nothing, and complaining against everyone else all the time.

    We were blessed that the provincial government requested and paid for the plebiscite so that we the public had a say. It was also understandable that there were still 43.6% of us liked the Winter Olympic at that moment, while, if one could foresee our 2019 property tax bill and especially our non-residential property tax bill before the plebiscite, things might be of some differences. And, if one could also have an idea that the coming Green Line was going to overrun the $4.9 billion budget plan with only half of the length, I’d bet you would like to think twice. For those 7 Councils who voted against the motion to halt the Winter Olympic bid, I’d say there was no excuse for you at all, because you must be aware, as good as the other 8 councils, of what the 2019 property tax bill would look like and how the Green Line budget overrun would be declared with less than half of its length at that very moment.

The above indexes are introduced to assess the trustworthiness of our Mayor and Councils from multiple perspectives, all based on my personal understanding and position of the recent major issues. Reasons for me to take my positions for each of them are posted in this website under different topics. Although I believe that my positions are fundamentally align with public interest standing, viewers are still respectfully encouraged to take different approaches for whatever reasons you might have, my goal of having these indexes posted here is to present us with a test to quantify those values, so that a candidate’s qualification of being our representative based on their position upon various issues can be assessed upon an issue-based criteria, hopefully it can help us in a meaningful way so that to choose a more trustworthy candidate in this election.

We are in a crisis, a literally doubled crisis, while we are having a spender dominated City Hall with poor public trust and confidence, no more mistake can be afforded in this once in four-year chance for a change. Please be aware that everyone of our Councils represents the whole city upon issues, so please view your Ward’s special interest align with our entire city’s interest, we can’t shift burdens between ourselves, that is not the solution, we need to fix this problematic City Hall all together in this election.